Live Life Comfortably Once Again with Physical Therapy
Chronic pain is defined as any pain that lasts more than three months. When people suffer from chronic pain for an extended period of time, it can lead to a downward spiral. As a result of the pain, they become more inactive and sedentary, and their health frequently deteriorates.
People living with chronic pain may even resort to extreme measures, such as surgery or addictive painkillers, in order to find relief. If you have chronic pain but want a non-invasive, non-addictive pain relief option, contact our office and speak with a physical therapist today.
Common symptoms of chronic pain
As stated by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke,
“While acute pain is a normal sensation triggered in the nervous system to alert you to possible injury and the need to take care of yourself, chronic pain is different. Chronic pain persists. Pain signals keep firing in the nervous system for weeks, months, even years.
There may have been an initial mishap — sprained back, serious infection, or there may be an ongoing cause of pain — arthritis, cancer, ear infection, but some people suffer chronic pain in the absence of any past injury or evidence of body damage. Many chronic pain conditions affect older adults.
Common chronic pain complaints include headache, low back pain, cancer pain, arthritis pain, neurogenic pain (pain resulting from damage to the peripheral nerves or to the central nervous system itself), psychogenic pain (pain not due to past disease or injury or any visible sign of damage inside or outside the nervous system).
A person may have two or more coexisting chronic pain conditions. Such conditions can include chronic fatigue syndrome, endometriosis, fibromyalgia, inflammatory bowel disease, interstitial cystitis, temporomandibular joint dysfunction, and vulvodynia. It is not known whether these disorders share a common cause.”
Chronic pain affects each person differently. In many cases, the pain continues long after the body is healed of injury or a surgical procedure.
The good news is that physical therapy is not a one-size-fits-all approach to pain relief. Your physical therapist has many tools and techniques at their disposal to help relieve and overcome chronic pain.
Chronic pain has a number of symptoms associated with it, apart from the fact that the pain lasted more than three months.
Here are some of the symptoms associated with chronic aches and pains:
- Activity Avoidance: People with chronic pain become fearful of normal activities. The fear of additional pain can cause people to withdraw from normal physical activities that they enjoy.
- Stiffness: Muscles and joints may feel stiffer when suffering from chronic pain.
- Reduced Fitness: Inactivity due to chronic pain can cause your muscles to weaken and shrink. This can have profound physical effects over time, such as impacting your sense of balance.
- Reduced Circulation: Remaining inactive due to chronic pain reduces your circulation, which means your cells are not receiving a healthy amount of blood and oxygen. This can cause tissues to degenerate and leads to feelings of constant fatigue.
- Weight Gain and Additional Problems: People with chronic pain may put on too much weight, which can lead to a host of added problems, from diabetes to heart disease.
How PT treatments can help combat chronic pain
Your physical therapist will recommend a treatment plan that is tailored to your specific needs and goals. Following an initial consultation and examination, your therapist will collaborate with you on the best methods to start overcoming your chronic aches and pains.
This will begin with education. Your therapist will explain how your pain developed and what you can do to alleviate it. The initial goal will be to manage your pain, so that you can eventually return to your normal routine.
Physical therapy includes exercises, stretching, and flexibility. Over time, you will become stronger and more flexible, making it easier to move around with less pain. This will be a slow and gradual process, with exercises focusing on the steady improvement of your strength and flexibility.
Manual therapy is a type of massage that is only performed by physical therapists. These techniques will be used to mobilize tight joints that cause pain and to manipulate soft tissues to provide relief. When dealing with chronic pain, this technique could be extremely beneficial.
Finally, posture and body mechanics training will play an important role in your treatment plan. Learning how to practice proper posture at home, work, and while resting can help to relieve pain and prevent its recurrence. All of these treatment options will assist you in resuming your normal life without the need for invasive surgery or painkillers.
Are you ready to relieve your chronic pain?
If you’ve been living with chronic aches and pains, take the first step toward recovery today.
To schedule your initial physical therapy appointment, please contact Moon PT!
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